The Who bring 'Quadrophenia' back to life

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Photo - DULUTH, GA - NOVEMBER 05:  The Who's Roger Daltrey and Pete Townshend perform during the The Who "Quadrophenia And More" World Tour In Duluth, Georgia at the Arena at Gwinnett Center on November 5, 2012 in Duluth, Georgia.  (Photo by Rick Diamond/Getty Images)
DULUTH, GA - NOVEMBER 05: The Who's Roger Daltrey and Pete Townshend perform during the The Who "Quadrophenia And More" World Tour In Duluth, Georgia at the Arena at Gwinnett Center on November 5, 2012 in Duluth, Georgia. (Photo by Rick Diamond/Getty Images)
Entertainment,Music,Nancy Dunham

The Who's "Quadrophenia" tour is finally here.

After months of waiting for a local show, part of the first tour for the band in four years is something akin to a holiday for fans. Founding member Pete Townshend said the tour is as exciting for him and founding member Roger Daltrey, too.

"In 1972 I was 28, writing about London and Brighton in 1963 and 1964, when the band was just starting," said Townshend. "I really love playing all of it. It's a unique piece for me in that. Some Who music is nightmarish to perform live. Roger has some very tough songs to sing, and he must have preferences. But for me on guitar, everything falls under the fingers. It flows naturally, and I always feel proud of my achievement as the writer, that I put it all together and gave the band a third wind."

Onstage
The Who
When: 7:30 p.m. Tuesday
Where: Verizon Center, 601 F St. NW
Info: $39.50 to $129.50; 202-397-SEAT (7328); ticketmaster.com

The first wind was "Quadrophenia," the 1973 double album that almost immediately launched the band into the upper reaches of music stardom. The band will play the entire "Quadrophenia" album on the North American arena tour. The album is the group's second rock opera after "Tommy" and hit No. 2 on the U.S. Billboard album chart.

Townshend and Daltrey are joined by Zak Starkey on drums, Pino Palladino on bass, Simon Townshend on guitar/backing vocals, John "Rabbit" Bundrick on keyboard, Loren Gold on keyboards/backing vocals and musical director Frank Simes on keyboards and backing vocals.

But no matter who is in the band, Townshend said the songs on the album connect with fans during these turbulent social and economic times, just as they did when the album was first released. And he, of course, is very proud of the album's continuing relevance.

"The real high point for me is always the final song, 'Love Reign O'er Me.' Roger and I now stand almost alone together, representing not only the original band, but also its Mod audience and, of course, all our other early fans," said Townshend. "We are connected by it, in what is the most clear-cut prayer for redemption, and it feels like an acknowledgment that rock music has managed to deal with the highest emotional challenge: spiritual desperation."

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Nancy Dunham

Examiner Correspondent
The Washington Examiner